Also, the DS9 kind of thinking was already there in TNG. The VFX people could not afford to show more than four ships at once, but the writers always described fleets consisting of dozens of vessels, while making the point that such fleets were still pitifully small compared with what was expected of a true warfleet ("BoBW" and "Redemption"). A combat formation in TNG was supposed to be hundreds of starships strong - it was just that the writers created situations that prevented the heroes from assembling a combat formation, so that the VFX people wouldn't need to show it.
In DS9, this was actually reversed to a degree. The writers remained conservative about how many ships they could expect on screen, but the VFX people could afford to show basically an unlimited number. Thus, the kill tally verbally given in "Way of the Warrior" is rather conservative vis-á-vis what we actually see, and the dialogue that describes Sisko leading combat formations from aboard the Defiant
often refers to smaller-scale, slower-paced action than what is shown.